In This Video
- The Healey Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital was created with the goal to accelerate how therapies are brought forward and tested in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- The Healey Center platform trial is the first for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) throughout the United States and have enrolled participants faster than any ALS trial has before
- The Platform Trial uses an infrastructure to test many drugs at once to cut the time to getting treatment in half, cutting the cost by a third, and greatly increase the chance for people to be on the active drug
Merit E. Cudkowicz, MD, MSc, chief of the Department Neurology and director of the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the Healey ALS Platform Trial, which aims to accelerate the discovery of new drug therapies for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
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The Healey Center for ALS at Mass General was created two years ago and the goal and our vision is to accelerate how therapies are brought forward and tested in people with ALS. Our signature project is something called the Platform Trial. And we thought that this was an important advance to bring to people with ALS. And this is an idea already in play in oncology, that when you have many, many drugs in development for people with ALS, it makes sense to do them in one platform trial, and by developing the infrastructure to test many drugs at once, you can cut the time to getting treatment in half, you can cut the cost by a third, and you can greatly increase by two-thirds, the chance for people to be on active drug. So, we launched the first platform trial for ALS at the Healey Center throughout the United States in July , and we are already enrolling faster than any ALS trial has before. We are anticipating that we are going to be finished enrolling the first four treatments in February of 2021 which means we will have the results for four drugs, not one drug, next summer, summer of 2021, and that is remarkably fast.
We are also talking to several other companies to add their arms in 2021. And just to give a sense of the amazing efficiency of this approach, we had started with three drugs, and we are adding the fourth now. It took less than two weeks to add a new arm to this drug. And just in comparison, if that arm was doing their trial on their own, it could take over a year to get a new study launched. So this is where the time savings come, and the cost savings come to doing this type of innovative platform trial. The goal of the Healey ALS Platform Trial is to accelerate how we find treatments for people with ALS.
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